Pantograph was an experimental type of emerging platform in a form of a workshop/symposium initiated by two NGOs - Center for Metamedia-Plasy and Center for Contemporary Art (former Soros Center for Contemporary Arts in Prague. Its goal was to foster and amplify constructive discussions and transfer of tools of knowledge, and the initiation of interregional projects addressing the folds between culture, society, and politics within Europe's former "eastern bloc".
The word pantograph ethymologicaly derives from pantographe - panto - (in Greek) παντός (pantós), (pân, “all”) and graphe (from γράφειν (gráphein), “to write”). A mechanical linkage tool, based on parallelograms causing two objects to move in parallel; notably as a drawing aid.
(The current collector of an electric locomotive is called as well a pantograph, from its construction of slender links that move like a pantograph, although it is not a pantograph, but an example of "lazy tongs").
Following the workshop held at the Center for Metamedia, the 12 participants (artists, curators, cultural activists) representing several independent cultural organizations paralley prepared ideas and proposals for projects, primarily through the discussion group established via e-mail [email@example.com].
These "spin-off" projects ought be practical tools for change of current conditions, even if only on a local or regional level. A selection of these projects supposed to receive a modest amount of start-up money to ensure their realization and sustainability.
Pantograph Workshop Participants
Boris Bakal Zagreb, Croatia
Richard Pierre Davies - Mongrel, London UK
Sue Mark, San Francisco, USA
Herwig Turk & Rike Frank - Vergessen Vienna, Austria
Lexa Walsh & Dimitri Carrie - CESTA Tábor, CR
Ventislav Zankov - 10 Years Later Bulgaria
Pantograph Organizers: Milos Vojtechovsky & Jo Williams, CMM, Jennifer de Felice, SCCA
Pantograph was funded by small grants from Soros Centers for Art Regional Projects (SCARP), European Cultural Foundation, Pro Helvetia Ost West, the Hermit Fund, Center for Contemporary Arts-Prague and other foundations with interest in stimulating the exchange of ideas.
After the CMP ceased its activities and was forced to leave the Plasy Monasteery, the project was discontinued, nevertheles some projects went on anyway, for example Labor k3000 participated in the Cafe9.net project in Prague, which was based on similar ideas of participation, network and parallel grassroots activities.